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Istanbul European Side Area Guide

Sitting on the western Bosphorus Strait banks, the European side of Istanbul is a mesmerizing tapestry of Turkey's history, culture, and city life. Istanbul seamlessly blends the remnants of ancient Constantinople with modern and cosmopolitan ambiences, and the European side embodies this unique blend.

Beyond the urban buzz, the European side also boasts breathtaking natural beauty. Remember, this is Turkey's largest city, built on seven hills, with many beautiful landscapes. The European side is Turkey's number one tourist destination, from attractions and museums to accommodations. This makes Istanbul one of Turkey's best Western cities to buy and invest in property. Let's look at what potential property buyers in Istanbul should know.

                                About the Istanbul European Side

Istanbul European Side-Ortakoy Mosque

From Europe to Asia

Approximately two-thirds of Istanbul's land area is in the European continent of Turkey. At the same time, the remaining one-third lies in the Asian continent. European Istanbul covers more land than Asian Istanbul. The Bosphorus Strait of Turkey serves as the natural boundary between the two continents, dividing the city into European and Asian parts. The European side features many of Istanbul's most famous landmarks, historic sites, neighbourhoods, and commercial areas.

The Bosphorus Strait Connection

European Istanbul is closely intertwined with the Bosphorus Strait, as the strait separates the European region and Asian sides. The Bosphorus Strait waterway connects the Black and Marmara Seas. It divides Istanbul into two continents. The watercourse has played crucial roles in world history regarding trade, transportation, and defence since ancient times. Its importance for international shipping continues to this day.

European Istanbul and the Marmara Sea

The Marmara Sea lies to the south of European Istanbul. As ships pass through the Bosphorus from the black sea, they enter the Marmara Sea, which then acts as a conduit to the Mediterranean Sea. The Marmara Sea is significant for Istanbul's history, trade, and transportation.

From European Istanbul, several vital ports and coastal areas provide access. The neighbourhoods of Karakoy and Eminonu, near the Golden Horn, offer bustling ferry terminals and maritime activity. These ports serve as gateways for domestic and international ferry services, connecting the European side with various destinations.

The Marmara Sea also influences the climate of European Istanbul. The sea moderates the city's temperatures and provides refreshing breezes during warmer months. The sea's deep blue waters and picturesque islands contribute to Istanbul's scenic charm and offer boating, sailing, and recreational opportunities.

Easy Access to the Asian Side

Istanbul is connected by several bridges that link Europe and Asia. The suspension Bosphorus Bridge was the first to span the Bosphorus and connect Europe and Asia. The bridge, completed in 1973, was named the Bosphorus Bridge until 2016, when it became the 15 July Martyrs Bridge.

Constructed in 1988, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge is the second Istanbul city bridge. This suspension bridge, further north than the Bosphorus Bridge, provides an alternative European vehicle crossing. The bridge is named after the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet, the Conqueror, who conquered Constantinople.

Completed in 2016, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is the newest addition bridging the two continents. This cable-stayed bridge, named after the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, sits north of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and is the world's widest suspension bridge spanning about 2.2 kilometres (1.4 miles).

Old City Part of European Istanbul

The old city part of Istanbul, also called the Historic Peninsula, is in Europe. This area encompasses Istanbul's historical and cultural heritage. The central districts within the old city part of Europe include Sultanahmet, Eminonu, and Fatih, which many tourists visit for accommodation.

The well-known old city of Sultanahmet features Istanbul's UNESCO World Heritage landmarks, like the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque), the Topkapi Palace Museum, and the Hippodrome.

Eminonu district features the historic Spice Bazaar and Galata Bridge, which offers beautiful Golden Horn views. This is also a popular ferry port.

Fatih is the official district area. It is named after the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed, the Conqueror, who conquered Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) in 1453. Fatih surrounds Sultanahmet and boasts of important old city historical sites, like Suleymaniye Mosque, Valens Aqueduct, and the Grand Bazaar.

New City Part of European Istanbul

Taksim and Beyoglu are two European districts that offer history, culture, modernity, and vibrant street life. Taksim serves as a meeting point surrounded by numerous shops, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. Istiklal Avenue, the main pedestrian street in Taksim, stretches for about 1.4 kilometres and is lined with historical buildings, trendy shops, art galleries, cinemas, theatres, and music venues.

Beyoglu has long been a centre for arts, entertainment, and nightlife. The district has narrow streets, European-style buildings, and modern and historic architecture. The Galata neighbourhood, within Beyoglu, boasts of the iconic Galata Tower, charming streets, and its bohemian atmosphere. This popular European destination attracts artists, writers, and musicians.

European Beyoglu boasts diverse cultural institutions, museums and performance venues, including the Istanbul Modern Art Museum, the Pera Museum, and several theatres. The district hosts numerous art exhibitions, music concerts, and film festivals. One highlight of Beyoglu is the famous historic tunnel connecting Karakoy (at the waterfront) with Istiklal Avenue.

Impact of Tourism in European Istanbul

Tourism is indelible to Istanbul's economy, cultural landscape, and global standing. As one of the world's most visited destinations, Istanbul's allure attracts millions of tourists annually, providing numerous benefits and contributions to the city's European growth and development.

First and foremost, tourism plays a crucial role in Istanbul's economy. Visitors boost various sectors, including hospitality, transportation, retail, entertainment, and services. Hotels, restaurants, and shops thrive on the demand generated by tourists, creating employment opportunities and fostering entrepreneurship.

The city's historical landmarks, like the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace Museum, and Blue Mosque, attract visitors from all over the world. The revenue generated from entrance fees, guided tours, accommodation, and museum activities helps fund the maintenance, restoration, and conservation efforts necessary to preserve these iconic European sites for future generations.

Moreover, Istanbul's tourist attractions bring international recognition and prestige. The city's iconic landmarks, street life, and rich history have been showcased in countless European travel publications, documentaries, and social media platforms, further enhancing its global and European reputation for tourism. This recognition fuels tourism growth and encourages European infrastructure, transportation, tourist attractions and urban development investments.

Lastly, sustainable tourist destination practices are gaining traction in Istanbul, ensuring that tourism's impact is balanced and sustainable in the long term. European Initiatives such as eco-friendly accommodations, public transportation improvements, and heritage preservation programs of tourist attractions aim to protect Istanbul's unique European environment and cultural assets.

Where to Buy Property in European Istanbul

There are several neighbourhoods in European Istanbul to buy property, depending on preferences, budget, and investment goals. Here are some popular areas to consider.

Beyoglu: Beyoglu offers atmospheres, proximity to cultural attractions, and thriving arts and entertainment scenes. Istiklal Avenue, Cihangir, and Galata are sub-neighbourhoods within Beyoglu that are sought after for their charm and accessibility.

Besiktas: Prestigious Besiktas offers lively streets, cultural institutions, and waterfront locations. The area provides mixed residential and commercial spaces with various property options, including apartments, penthouses, and luxury developments.

Sisli: With modern high-rise buildings, luxury apartments, and prestigious shopping areas like Nisantasi, Sisli provides easy access to the city centre and is preferred for cosmopolitan lifestyles.

Bakirkoy: This area offers residential areas, shopping centres, parks, and airport proximity. Bakirkoy is famous for its waterfront promenade and marina.

Zeytinburnu: Zeytinburnu, near the coast, offers both residential and commercial options. The area is undergoing urban renewal, making this area attractive for property investment.

But What are the Real Estate Investment Areas?

Beyoglu: The sub-neighbourhoods of Karakoy and Galata are highly sought after for real estate investment. These areas are experiencing revitalization and offer historic charm and modern development. With the demand for commercial and residential spaces, properties in Beyoglu have the potential for appreciation.

Bomonti: The neighbourhood has seen significant urban renewal and boasts modern residential complexes, commercial buildings, and luxury hotels. Its central location, proximity to business centres, and ongoing development projects make the district attractive.

Maslak: Maslak's financial area attracts attention because of its strategic locations, strong rental demand, and ongoing infrastructure improvements.

Ataşehir: Ataşehir, a modern residential and business area, offers high-end residential developments, office spaces, and shopping centres. With well-planned infrastructure, and a growing population, Ataşehir presents promising investment opportunities in Istanbul.

Kagithane: Kagithane has seen a significant urban transformation in recent years. The district offers residential complexes, commercial spaces, and recreational facilities in Istanbul alongside a central location, access to transportation networks, and ongoing development projects.

Bahcesehir: Bahcesehir, a rapidly growing suburban area with modern residential complexes and ample green spaces, is popular with families and professionals seeking tranquil lifestyles. The area's well-planned infrastructure, access to amenities, and potential for future growth appeal.

The Istanbul Canal Project

The Istanbul Canal Project, called Kanal Istanbul, is a significant infrastructure development initiative in Turkey. The project will create an artificial waterway in Istanbul. The primary purpose is to alleviate the maritime traffic congestion in the Bosphorus Strait, one of the world's busiest and narrowest straits. By creating an alternative route for shipping and transportation in Istanbul, the project aims to enhance maritime safety, reduce environmental risks, and provide economic benefits for the Istanbul region.

The proposed Istanbul canal route, approximately 45 kilometres long, will be constructed on Istanbul's European side, passing through Avcilar, Kucukcekmece, Basaksehir, and Arnavutkoy. The Istanbul Canal will be 275 meters across and 25 meters deep, accommodating commercial and leisure vessels. The Istanbul Canal project will drive urban development and economic growth in surrounding areas. The project aims to enhance Istanbul's position in transportation and logistics.

The Istanbul Canal Project was officially announced in 2011, and implementation is ongoing. Construction will take several years, with various phases and infrastructure development projects planned. The exact timeline for completion and operationalization is subject to multiple factors, including environmental assessments of Istanbul, legal procedures, and financial considerations.

Istanbul New Airport in European Istanbul

Istanbul New Airport is the leading international Airport. Istanbul New Airport is one of the world's largest airports, covering an area of approximately 76.5 million square meters. The Airport can handle up to 200 million passengers annually. There are various transport options for passengers to reach their destinations within Istanbul.

Taxis provide convenient and direct transfers to different districts. The travel time to central Istanbul locations such as Taksim or Sultanahmet can vary depending on traffic conditions but typically ranges between 30 minutes to an hour.

The Airport operates shuttle bus services connecting the Airport with different areas of Istanbul. These buses provide cost-effective options for passengers and have fixed routes and schedules. The Airport is also well-connected to Istanbul's public transportation system. Passengers can use the Istanbul metro, buses, or the Marmaray suburban train to reach various destinations in the city.

Why Buy Property on The European Side of Istanbul

Are you searching for a thriving metropolis that seamlessly blends culture and modernity? European Istanbul captivates with energy and opportunities. As an esteemed estate agent in Istanbul, we invite you to explore the countless reasons why buying property in Istanbul is an excellent choice.

Prime Location: The European side is strategically positioned as the gateway between Europe and Asia. Its advantageous location gives you easy access to international travel, business connections, and cultural experiences.

Thriving Economy: Istanbul boasts a robust and diverse economy, attracting numerous multinational companies and investors. Buying property presents an opportunity to tap into this economic hub and potentially benefit from its growth.

Rich Heritage: The European side of Istanbul, with its ancient landmarks and architectural marvels, stands as a testament to its grand past.

Modern Infrastructure: The city's infrastructure continuously evolves, with significant investments in transportation, healthcare, education, and entertainment. The European side offers modern amenities, ensuring convenient lifestyles for residents.

Lifestyle: The Istanbul European side pulsates with an energy that appeals to all tastes and preferences. Enjoy the city's world-class dining, shopping, and entertainment offerings at your doorstep.

Diverse Property Options: The Istanbul European side offers several property options to suit various budgets and lifestyles. Whether you seek a luxurious apartment with breathtaking views, a charming historic house in a quaint neighbourhood, or a modern residence, you'll find the perfect property to call your own.

Investment Potential: The real estate market on the Istanbul European side is dynamic and presents significant investment potential. As the city continues to flourish, property values on Istanbul's European side are expected to appreciate over time, making the city attractive for investment.

How to Contact Us

To buy property in European Istanbul, browse our portfolio here. Each listing contains all details to find out more via email or arrange viewings. Also, use our contact page here if you want an agent to email you. However, if you are in Istanbul city, the best option is to drop into our office. The location map is also on the contact page. With local knowledge and experience, our Istanbul staff will gladly chat with you about investing in Istanbul.

Also About Istanbul

Asian Istanbul, also called the Asia or Anatolian side, is the less explored portion of Istanbul. While Istanbul's European side may be more well-known, the Asian side also offers unique Turkish charm, museums, and tourist attractions. Kadikoy boasts lively atmospheres, diverse culinary scenes, and local markets. Just across the Bosphorus from the historic peninsula, Uskudar offers beautiful views of Istanbul's skyline and landmarks. Read more about Asian Istanbul.


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